Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home - The Soundtrack Of My Life

"You know I'm a dreamer, but my hearts of gold"  So starts one of the most emotional songs in my life.  We all have songs that remind us of someone or something, they may elicit a variety of emotions and reactions and occasionally we aren't sure why.  Sometimes we have to look deep within to understand to find a reason if not merely to explain our emotions.

"Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crue is that song for me and when I hear the song it immediately takes me back to 1985.  I was a senior in high school in 1985 and I was getting ready to join the Army, I just had to wait for my 17th birthday and I was on my way.  During the summer I bought "Theater of Pain" by Motley Crue, and so began the soundtrack to my life really.

I loved that Theater of Pain album, I knew everything about that album and I would listen to it day after day, I was becoming a huge Motley Crue fan.  If that was all there was to it, it would make for a story that you might say "Awww, that's nice", but that isn't the case.  While my parents were married, my Mom's brother Jeff, was living with us and after my parents divorced, Jeff stayed at my Dad's house.  Jeff was like my big brother, he helped me with some real problems and he would always ask me how I was doing (occasionally I stayed with him at my Dad's too).

High school football on Friday nights is huge, and I was going to go with Jeff to see a couple of my cousins and his nephews play against each other.  After the game we said our goodbyes and I went about getting ready for my Army physical that coming Monday.  On Sunday night I was to report to my recruiter so I could be transported to Des Moines, IA for my physical, which I did and I took the long drive to Des Moines.  Anxious would be a great way to explain how I felt and I went to sleep that night listening to my portable cassette player (I didn't have a Walkman, I had that) with which I brought one cassette, "Theater of Pain" by Motley Crue.

That day was the day I set my life in motion, I knew what I wanted to do and my test scores would let me do literally anything I wanted, it was a great day.  It was a great day, right up to the point where the Army doctors rejected me because I have a heart murmur, and not only a heart murmur they claimed I had a septal defect.  The Army would not allow me join and they sent me home.

When I arrived home, I noticed that there were an inordinate number of cars there, and with that, at least in my family, meant someone had died and I wasn't prepared to find out who it was.  My uncle Jeff passed away a few hours after I saw him on that Friday night.  I was in total shock, and as the family and friends began to leave I turned to that portable cassette player and that tape, "Theater of Pain".  I really don't know what I heard as the player began to hum and the notes began to flow into my ears, but what stuck in my head, was "Home Sweet Home".

Since that day that simple song makes me reflect to my uncle Jeff and it puts a little quirky smile on my face and my mind fills with all of those good and bad memories.  I remember when I first saw Motley Crue in concert I only wanted to hear that one song and when Tommy Lee started playing the piano the most incredible warmth covered me, it comforted me.  Home Sweet Home takes me back to a terribly tough time in my life but now as I have lost other members of my family, they too become part of that song and what a wonderful cacophony of memories dance in my mind.

On Saturday August 6th, 2011 my family, friends and I attended a Motley Crue concert and like that concert so many years ago, I wanted to hear that song.  As Tommy Lee began to play "Home Sweet Home", those memories rushed back and made me cry, smile, sad, happy and as covert as I could so my family wouldn't see the emotions.

In the soundtrack of my life are many songs but the one song that matters the most is the one that brings forth the most emotions.  We all have our own soundtrack, and what makes up your soundtrack is up to you, but find that one song that makes the most impact in your life.  Dig through your soundtrack, its there I promise but only you can know for sure.

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